Totally Wonderful African Surnames and their Astonishing Meanings

Totally Wonderful African Surnames and their Astonishing Meanings.

African Surnames: If there’s ever a place or people you can’t overlook, it’s the Africans. There are just too many peculiarities and labels associated with Africa and Africans. These people bear some of the most uncommon first names and surnames.

Totally Wonderful African Surnames and their Astonishing Meanings

More so, African surnames are plainly out of this world. You can’t find them anywhere else. Unlike some places, African surnames don’t really follow trends or have common features or patterns. Each surname has its own peculiar significance and purpose.

Particularly, the African people don’t toy with their surnames. You can hear a certain surname in a family being carried forward for many generations.

These kinds of surnames evolve into family names such that in a particular community, more than one extended family can have this surname as their last name. This practice is usually done as a memorial to the heroics of the one who first bore that name. Such a family name is always very outstanding and popular in such a community.

Realistically, there is no better description of diversity than with the African people and their last names. This diversity is evident in all facets of their existence and it is very prominent. Truly African surnames are unusual, remarkable, exceptional, and relevant. There is so much authenticity with their naming practices.

Enjoyably, the pronunciation of these African surnames gives you a thrill that you can never get with any other set of Surnames. You need to be quite careful and focused to be able to produce these African last names as they should be.

Accordingly, all letters that make up these last names must be duly considered and put into perspective while trying to pronounce them. Maybe you have also been intrigued by these African surnames; below we give you a list of some wonderful surnames borne by Africans.

Special African Surnames, their Origin and What they Mean

Special African Surnames, their Origin and What they Mean

1. Abara – Origin: West African (Igbo). Meaning: Spirit.

2. Abbas – Origin: An Arabic name found throughout Algeria. Meaning: ‘Lion.’

3. Abebe– Origin: Ethiopian. Meaning: ‘Flower’ or ‘blossom.’

4. Ababio– Origin: Ghanaian. Meaning: ‘Child that keeps coming or reincarnation.’

5. Abdallah – Origin: An Arabic name found through Sudan. Meaning: ‘Servant of God.’

6. Abimbola – Origin: West African (Yoruba). Meaning: ‘Born with wealth.’

7. Abiodun – Origin: Yoruba. Meaning: Born during the festival or war.

8. Abioye – Origin: Nigerian. Meaning: The son of royalty.

9. Acheampong – Origin: Ghanaian (Ashanti). Meaning: Destined for greatness.

10. Adébáyọ̀ – Origin: Nigerian (Yoruba). Meaning: ‘He came in a joyful time’ or ‘the king/crown/royalty meets joy.’

11. Adebisi – Origin: Nigerian (Yoruba). Meaning: “We added to the crown.”

12. Adeyemi – Worth to be a king

13. Adomako – Origin: Ghanaian. Meaning: Unknown.

14. Afumba – Origin: Zambian (Lozi). Meaning: ‘When they plan.’

15. Aguta – Countless, to have many

16. Akpabio -Originating from the Ibibio group, Akpabio means ‘leader’, ‘noble’ or ‘prime’. It is usually given to boys.

17. Akpan – Origin: Nigerian. Meaning: Title given to firstborn male children of the Ibibio/Efik people

18. Badu – Origin: Ghanaian. Meaning: 10th-born child.

19. Babangida -Among the Hausa tribes of Nigeria, Babangida means ‘the master of the house’. This name is primarily given to male members.

20. Bankole -Widely used among the Yoruba families, it means ‘help build our house’ or ‘build my house for me’. This name is mostly given to sons by the hopeful family.

21. Bashar – The bringer of good things

22. Boujettif – Origin: Northern African (Archaic). Meaning: One who possesses a clever head.


23. Chedjou – Origin: Cameroonian. Meaning: Unknown.

24. Chidubem – Origin: Nigerian (Igbo). Meaning: ‘Guided by God.’

25. Chizimu  – Origin: Malawian (Lambya). Meaning: Unknown.

26. Dogo – It is one of the most widely used Hausa nicknames which means ‘little’.

27. Eesuola – It has its roots in Yoruba and it means ‘a lot of wealth’.

28. Egebe – Another nickname that also functions as a surname is Egebe, which means ‘kite’.

29. Eke – Eke means ‘superstructure of the roof’.

30. Ele – It is common both as a surname and a nickname. It means ‘a good runner’.

31. Etienam – Having its roots in Ibibio, the surname or nickname Etienam means ‘a doer of good’ or ‘benevolent’.

32. Faheem – Perceptive’ or ‘intelligent

33. Falade – Several African names and surnames, when translated, often make full sentences. One of such names is a Yoruba surname Falade, which means ‘god of divination has intermingled with royalty’.

34. Farouq – The redeemer, one who differentiates between the right and wrong

35. Folorunsho – One of the many surnames that appreciate the divine is a Yoruba name Folorunsho, which means ‘under God’s protection’.

36. Furaha – It originates from the Swahili culture and means ‘delight’ or ‘happiness’.

37. Gbeho – Origin: Ghanaian. Meaning: Unknown.

38. Gcobani – One of the most popular and optimistic Xhosa names is Gcobani, which means ‘be joyful’. This name is primarily masculine.

39. Gowon – Rooted in the Tiv language, Gowon means ‘the rainmaker’. This name is also predominantly given to boys.

African Surname

40. HabibBeloved or friend

41. Hassan – Origin: An Arabic name found throughout Morocco. Meaning: ‘Handsome,’ ‘manly,’ or ‘strong.’

42. Ibrahim – The father of all

43. Igbinedion – It has its origins in the Benin culture and means ‘seeking refuge in the elder’s protection’.

44. Igwe – Among the Igbo groups, Igwe means ‘heaven’, which is considered the highest realm of existence. It is also a display of honor for the eze or king in some parts of Igboland.

45. Ihejirika -It is an Igbo surname and nickname, which conveys pride. It means ‘the one that I have is greater’.

46. Jelani -One of the given and last names for boys among the Swahili tribes, Jelani means ‘mighty’ or ‘full of strength’.

47. Kanumba – Origin: Tanzanian. Meaning: Unknown.

48. Kanye -Popularised by celebrity rapper Kanye West, the Igbo name Kanye means ‘let’s give’ or ‘to give honor or tribute’. It also means ‘once’ or ‘one time’ in the Nguni languages such as Ndebele, Xhosa, and Zulu.

49. Kasongo – Origin: Congolese. Meaning: ‘Bushbuck.’

50. Keita – It is a Malian surname, which means ‘blessing’.

51. Kenyatta -A common name among the Kenyan people, Kenyatta means ‘musician’. It is considered to be fundamentally masculine.

52. Kimathi – Origin: Kenyan. Meaning: ‘Earnest provider.’

Lovely African Surnames

53. Ladipo -Used both as a last name and a given name, Ladipo or Oladipo means ‘wealth and prosperity’. It is suitable for both boys and girls.

54. Mambwe – Origin: Zambian. Meaning: ‘The Lord is gracious.’

55. Mensah – One of the most popular African names, Mensah comes from the Akan group, and means ‘third child born to a couple’. This name suits both boys and girls.

56. Mohammed – Praise-worthiness and laudability

57. Mostafa – Origin: An Arabic name found throughout Egypt. Meaning: ‘The Chosen One.’

58. Musa – Origin: Nigerian. Meaning: Mercy

59. Mwanajuma -This surname has its ancestral roots in Swahili, and means ‘born on Friday’.

60. Negga/Nega – Origin: Ethiopian. Meaning: ‘The night has passed.’

61. Nenge -This unusual surname means ‘see’ in Tiv.

62. Ndiaye – Among the citizens of Senegal, Ndiaye is a ferocious surname as well as a given name. It means ‘descendant of the lion clan’, and is suitable for both genders.

63. Nnadi -This name from the Igbo tribes means ‘my God is alive’ or ‘my father lives’.

64. Nnamani -Mostly given to the men as a surname or a given name, it means ‘my father’s land’ or ‘my ancestral home’. It is usually given to boys.

65. Nwachukwu -This surname shows the devout nature of the people towards religion and belief in God. It originates in Igbo and means ‘child of the supreme God’.

66. Nwadike -It is of Igbo origin and means ‘one who is from a strong lineage’, ‘this person is strong’, ‘child warrior’, or ‘ son of a hero’.

67. Obama – Popularized by former US president Barack Obama, the name has its origin in the Luo dialect, and means ‘to lean or bend’.

68. Obi -A mainstream name among the Igbo surnames in Nigeria, Obi means ‘heart’. It is considered a male name.

69. Okoro – Origin: Nigerian (Urhobo). Meaning: ‘Child of the freeborn man.’

70. Okoye -It is a conventional surname across various African people and means ‘one who is born on orie market day’. This name has been brought to the big screen all over the world through a fictional character Okoye in a cultural phenomenon, the Black Panther movie.

71. Olatunji – Usually used as a given name and the last name, Olatunji means ‘wealth awakes again’. It is suitable for both boys and girls.

72. Olowe -It shows the unity of the families in the Yoruba groups. It means ‘one who has many people to call for help’, and is considered typically male.

73. Oluwusi – It means ‘kingship has increased’.

74. Omenma – It is a nickname which also functions as the last name. It means ‘one who does good to others’.

75. Omenuko – The surname acknowledges the helpfulness or resourcefulness of a person. It means ‘one who acts at the time of scarcity’.

76. Onai – Having its origin in the Shona group of Zimbabwe, the name means ‘a call to observe’ or ‘to see that which has happened’. Its other variants are Wonai and Vonai.

77. Onyeneme – It is a name that compliments a person, and it means ‘one who does well’.

78. Onyilogwu -It means ‘one who is invulnerable to dark magic’.

79. Opeyemi – It is both a surname and a given name, which means ‘I should give praise’.

80. Orji – Another conventional name that praises physical strength is Orji. It means ‘sturdy or ‘mighty tree’. It is usually accepted as a male name. Its other variants are Orjea, Orjee, Orjey, Orjie, and Orjy.

81. Osei – Typically found in the Akan group of Ghana, it means ‘royalty’ or ‘noble person’. It is suitable for boys and girls.

82. Otueome – The rare surname means ‘he says and does as he said he would do’, and is considered to be a masculine name.

83. Owusu – It is an Akan male surname which means ‘strong-willed and determined’. Its female variant is Owusua.

84. Ọyáwálé -It means ‘the river goddess has come home’.

85. Oyekan -Generally used as a masculine name, it means ‘we have increased or multiplied’ or ‘we are many’ among the Shona group of Zimbabwe. It also means ‘the next to be crowned’ among the Yoruba speaking groups.

86. Oyinlola – It is a conventional female name among the Yoruba groups and means ‘wealth is sweet’.

Nice African Surnames

87. Popoola – It means ‘intelligent people, love god’.

88. Quansah – Origin: Ghanaian. Meaning: ‘God is watching.’

89. Sarpong – It has its origin in the Ashanti or Asante group. It means ‘supreme’ or ‘a great warrior’ and is usually given to boys.

90. Selassie -Generally given to boys, it has its origin in the Amharic language, and means ‘trinity’.

91. Taleb – A devoted student or a seeker of knowledge

92. Tawfiq – Means an opportunity or chance to gain knowledge or succeed in life

93. Teklehaimanot – Origin: Ethiopian. Meaning: Derives from the name Tekle Haymanot, an Ethiopian monk and saint.

94. Temitope – It means ‘mine is worthy of thanks or gratitude’, and is suitable for both boys and girls.

95. Tersoo – It has its origin in the Tiv language, and means ‘father’s love’. It is considered to be primarily male.

96. Toure -This surname is possibly derived from the Soninkè word tùùrè, which means ‘elephant’. It is usually considered a male name.

Great African Surnames

97. Uduike – Udu means a clay pot to fill water, and Ike means strength. The name can be translated as ‘fullness of power’. It is generally regarded as suitable for boys.

98. Umburter – Derived from the Tiv language, it means ‘remember the father’. In this context, the father can also mean God. It is typically a male name.

99. Yusuf – The strength, power, influence and devotion

100. Zadzisai -It has its roots in the Shona group of Zimbabwe, and means ‘ fulfilment of a pledge or a promise’.

101. Zivai – Another name that originates from the Shona group is Zivai, which means ‘you must know’. It is usually given to boys.

I bet you were unable to make out a few of their pronunciation. This is one of the beauties associated with African surnames. It’s not just some common names you hear every day. The Africans really delve into their culture, language, and ethnicity to bring out tremendous names.

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